Budapest, the city of the spas
Budapest is one of the biggest and most exciting cities in Central and Eastern Europe. Amongst its most popular attractions are undoubtedly its thermal baths, now renowned throughout the world. Although Budapest, the capital city of Hungary, has only officially carried the title as a Spa City for 80 years, its unique facilities were fully recognized by Roman legio-naries over 2000 years ago! According to available records, there were then 14 baths in the city at that time, some of whose remaining foundations and walls can be seen in Óbuda to this day.
Most of the baths open today were established by the Turks, examples of which, the Rudas and the Király Baths, are still in operation after five hundred years. At that period in history, our city was called the Mecca of Rheumatics due to the salutary effects of its thermal waters.
The waters are also effective in healing locomotor, circulatory diseases and womens’ health problems. Open-air baths – built mainly on the outskirts of the city to complement the thermal baths located mainly within the city center – have been popular with the inhabitants of Budapest since the 1920’s.
Unmatched even on a world scale, the daily delivery of 70 million litres of 21-78 oC thermal waters, gushing out of 123 natural hot springs and drilled wells, means that Budapest can proudly proclaim itself as the capital city of healing and thermal waters. The Széchenyi Thermal Baths, built at the beginning of the 20th century and the first healing baths in Pest, is the biggest bathing complex in both Budapest and Europe. It is also very reminiscient of the Roman, Greek and Eastern styles of bathing.
Those who seek recovery from illness by bathing in the healing waters; or prefer to bask in the hot rays of the sun; or just simply while away the time in a stunning, captivating atmosphere will find a perfect solution here in Budapest. If water sports are your thing, then you too will be completely satisfied with the facilities the city has to offer.
This Bath first opened in 1948. Later, in 1956 it, among others, was expanded with a 50-m swimming pool. Its water base at that time was provided by a well bored in 1944, which finally secured the efficient use of the thermal waters found under the bed of the Danube. In 1970, the water of the Széchenyi Thermal Bath was directed to Dagály Bath, thus raising it to the status of a thermal baths. Dagály has provided a full range of medical services to its guests ever since. The 25 m length swimming pool, with its water filter and circulation system and a tent (canvas) roof was opened in 1983. At the moment, there are 10 pools of various forms and temperatures in the facility’s pleasant, picturesque surroundings. In 2000, the 2 large-sized thermal sitting pools situated on the territory of the Bath were transformed into 4 up-to-date pools and equipped with water filtering and circulation devices, these are utilized as a children’s pool, thermal sitting pool, fancy pool and teaching pool. The fancy pool offers a wide variety of facilities to the public – e.g. a whirling corridor, an effervescent bed, a whirlpool, neck showers, geysers, splashing sunbathing. In the summer of 2002, the mushroom pool and the kidney-shaped pool were renovated, and the latter was equipped with a wave-making machine that produced individual concentric waves simulating the roar of the sea.
Address: 1138 Budapest, Népfürdő utca 36.
Phone:+36 1 452 4556
This bath located in an Art Nouveau building mellowed by age has been open to visitors since 1918. Beautiful interiors, elegance and the most comprehensive service offering. The original Art Nouveau furniture, colourful mosaics, marble towers, stained-glass windows and statues are an artistic experience in their own right. The Gellért Thermal Bath and Hotel, known world-wide and highly favoured by foreigners opened its gates in 1918 and was expanded in 1927 by the wave-bath and in 1934 by the effervescent bath. In the course of the modernisation accomplished in our days, the sitting-pool in the swimming complex, the outdoor sitting pool and the children’s pool were renovated; they were equipped with a state-of-the art water filtering and circulation device. At present, nearly all healing facilities may be used in the Gellért Thermal Bath. The Bath includes a department offering complex thermal bath acilities (daytime/outpatient hospital), it also has an inhalatorium.
Address: 1118 Budapest, Kelenhegyi út 4.
Phone: +36 1 466 6166
The construction of this Bath was begun by Arslan, the Pasha of Buda in 1565 and was completed by his successor, Sokoli Mustafa. The Király Thermal Bath had no direct hot water base, nor has it any today. The Turks built the Bath far from the springs to ensure the opportunity for bathing even in the case of an eventual siege, within the walls of the castle. Its water was supplied at that time, and is being supplied now, from the surroundings of the current Lukács Bath. Following the reoccupation of Buda, the Bath was acquired in 1796 by the König family. They rebuilt it to its current form, combining the old with the new, and preserving its monumental character, found even in the name of the Bath. Stemming from the name of the family, it translates from Hungarian (Király=King=König). In World War II, the Bath was damaged. Its complete renovation was accomplished in 1950.
One of its pools is still in the mediaeval room with its dome, which will guarantee a historical visit.
Open: Tu, Th, Sa: men’s day, Mo, Fr: women’s day, We, Su: mixed day Mo, We, Su 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Tu, Th, Fr, Sa 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.,
Address: 1027 Budapest, Fő utca 84.
Phone: +36 1 202 3688
The Lukacs thermal bath has a long and exciting history. On the site of the current building was also a bath which has been founded in the late medieval ages.The first department to ensure complex thermal bath facilities (daytime hospital) was established in 1979 in Budapest, in the Lukács Thermal Bath. In 1999, the open-air pools of the swimming pool section were modernised. In the course of this, the so-called mud-pond, hardly used before, was replaced by a fancy pool, equipped with a whirling corridor, underwater effervescence, neck shower, water beam back massage hidden in the seat banks, whirlpool, geysers, effervescent bed and many other facilities unfamiliar before this time. The two swimming pools of various temperature in the other courtyard of the Bath were also rebuilt with water-filtering and circulation devices.
The Lukács is widely respected and has a select circle of guests with several well-known artists, politicians and other public figures among them. II., Frankel Leó u. 25-29., (+36 1) 326-1695, Mo-Su 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Address: 1023 Budapest, Frankel Leó utca 25-29.
Phone: +36 1 326 1695
This bath, located in the narrow strap of land between Gellért Hill and the Danube, has a ritual effect on many. The hot steam, the sauna, divided into smaller units with gradually ascending temperatures, sheets warmed on preheated tiles, and pools with several different temperatures ensure the comfort and a perfect bath experience for visitors. The centerpiece of the bath today, the Turkish bath, was built during the 16th century in the period of the Turkish occupation. Below the 10 m diameter dome, sustained by 8 pillars, there is an octagonal pool. The thermal bath has been visited from 1936 on exclusively by men. The swimming pool, operating as a therapeutic swimming facility and with a sauna, was built in 1896.Rudas also gives you the opportunity to have a nap in the relaxation room, since the whole facility is about nothing else but your refreshment. The bath looks back on a history of around 500 years.
Open: Mo, We, Th, Fr: men’s day, Tu: women’s day, Sa-Su and Fr-Sa 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.: mixed. Swimming pool: Mo-We 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., Th-Su 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Steam bath: Mo-Su 6 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Address: 1013 Budapest, Döbrentei tér 9.
Phone: +36 1 356 1010
The Széchenyi Thermal Bath is one of the largest spa complexes in Europe. It’s also the first thermal bath of Pest. It owes its existence to Vilmos Zsigmondy, a mining engineer. on his initiative, successful deep borings had been performed in the City Park, where later, in 1881 already an “Artesian bath” was in operation. However, this temporary type of bath was meeting the demands of the age less and less, so the Széchenyi Thermal Bath was built in 1913 on the basis of plans composed by Gyozo Czigler. Spas and bathsSzéchenyi, also known under the playful name “Szecska” offers a vivid social life. Only by sitting in the steam and listening to others, you will learn more about public life than by reading any newspaper. Following the chess party with one eye only and catching only one or two bids will get you further than chasing for sharp-sighted comments in the office tea kitchen. To top it all off, bathing is an activity that will give you a feeling of satisfaction by only the mere appearance of doing sports.
Address: 1146 Budapest, Állatkerti krt 11.
Phone: +36 1 363 3210
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